Vladimir Lenin, born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, (22 April 1870 - 21 January 1924), was a revolutionary and Marxist theorist who was the leader of the Bolsheviks, a Marxist party in Russia. He was elected the head of government of the Russian Soviet Republic in 1917, on the eve of the October Revolution. He played a key role in the founding of the Soviet Union. The reception of his theory and practice by the Marxist community has been mixed and he remains a controversial figure, with a range of criticisms about both his thought and actions. After his death, the leadership of the USSR would quickly claim adherence to "Leninism", an ideology based on his ideas and writings.
In 1903, Lenin led a split in the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, which was then divided in two major factions: the Mensheviks ('minority'; led by Martov) and the Bolsheviks ('majority'; led by Lenin).
In 1917, the Bolsheviks provided the primary leadership for the October Revolution, which deposed the provisional government and replaced it with a soviet republic (democracy by workers' councils).
Theory & Contributions to Marxist thought
On Political Economy
- Lenin, Vladimir. What is to be done?, 1902.
- Lenin, Vladimir. Imperialism: the Highest State of Capitalism, 1917.
- Lenin, Vladimir. The State and Revolution, 1917.
- Lenin, Vladimir. Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder, 1920.